The Wall Street Journal reports that more men are receiving alimony, up to 3.6% over the 5-year period ending in 2006, compared to 2.4% in the previous 5-year period. Even in the Dallas, Texas area divorces, more men are sacrificing their career opportunities in favor of their wife’s. Wives make more money than husbands in 33% of all marriages (including those where the husband may not work.)
Alimony is the money that a higher-earning spouse gives to a lower-earning spouse following the end of the marriage. Texas has a very limited court-ordered alimony statute, only providing alimony (aka maintenance in Texas) where the parties have been married for 10 or more years, plus the spouses lack property in the divorce to provide for the other spouse’sreasonalbe needs, plus either the spouse lacks the ability to earn wages to meet minimum needs or the spouse or a child have a disability that makes working outside the home difficult. However, alimony can be provided for by agreement even when the situation lies outsides of the exact parameters of the legal statute.
Men are receiving alimony today for the classic reasons that women traditionally did. A common argument is that they sacrificed their careers for the sake of their wives or children.
Some spouses find it distasteful to write a check each month to their former spouse. So, the increasingly common practice is to trade alimony for a fatter slice of the marrital property pie.